The Ship Beneath the Ice: The Discovery of Shackleton’s Endurance

Written by:
Mensun Bound

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
February 2023
11 hours 57 minutes
''As thrilling as any tale from the heroic age of exploration. ... Bound’s account is a triumph. The storytelling is piano-wire taut, the writing saturated with polar moodiness.'' ― Sunday Times

The extraordinary story of how the Endurance, Ernest Shackleton's legendary lost ship, was found in the most hostile sea on Earth, told by the expedition's Director of Exploration.

On November 21, 1914, after sailing more than ten thousand miles from Norway to the Antarctic Ocean, the Endurance finally succumbed to the surrounding ice. Ernest Shackleton and his crew had navigated the 144-foot, three-masted wooden vessel to Antarctica to become the first to cross the barren continent, but early season pack ice trapped them in place offshore. They watched in silence as the ship’s stern rose twenty feet in the air and disappeared into the frigid sea, then spent six harrowing months marooned on the ice in its wake. Seal meat was their only sustenance as Shackleton’s expedition to push the limits of human strength took a new form: one of survival against the odds. 

As this legendary story entered the annals of polar exploration, it inspired a new global race to find the wrecked Endurance, by all accounts “the world’s most unreachable shipwreck.” Several missions failed, thwarted, as Shackleton was, by the unpredictable Weddell Sea. Finally, a century to the day after Shackleton’s death, renowned marine archeologist Mensun Bound and an elite team of explorers discovered the lost shipwreck. Nearly ten thousand feet below the ice lay a remarkably preserved Endurance, its name still emblazoned on the ship’s stern.

The Ship Beneath the Ice chronicles two dramatic expeditions to what Shackleton called “the most hostile sea on Earth.” Bound experienced failure and despair in his attempts to locate the wreck, and, like Shackleton before him, very nearly found his vessel frozen in ice.

This inspiring modern-day adventure narrative captures the intrepid spirit that joins two mariners across the centuries—both of whom accomplished the impossible.

Supplemental enhancement PDF accompanies the audiobook.
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Crompton B.

For more than ten years, I've been an enthusiastic subscriber and have to say this audio book rates highest of all to date. Cleverly and engagingly written, it traces not only the expedition to find Endurance, but masterfully weaves the story of Shackleton's bid to cross the Antarctic continent and survival in appalling conditions into the narrative. Equal parts marine archaeology, science, environment, history, adventure, Bound navigates the material in one of those listens that you drive around the block to finish! Narrator was superb and delivered on the author's emotional experience hunting for and eventually discovering the final resting place of the ship.

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